Confession: Gnosticism was almost the end of me.
The twelve-year-old idealist who was bound and determined to be a missionary grew up, got married, had a few babies, and settled into life in a small American city.
Her life got harder. Quite a bit harder. Without going into all the details, she found far less time for moonlight dances and wildflower bouquets. There was a whole lot of laundry. And long, dark winters. And disappointment, and grownup pain. Less innocence. More cares.
She did alright as long as she didn’t ask why. Why was she doing all this meaningless stuff—washing the dishes over and over, working the soil, feeding the bodies, scrubbing and dressing?
She was weary of her old body, and all these things. She longed for the sweet serenity of heaven, the end of pain, the rest after hard work. Her husband tried to pull her up. “There’s good stuff here,” he said. “What do you look forward to? What do you dream of? You’re like a soldier who wants to be sent home in peace before fighting the war.”
One year she saw a doctor, who told her she was depressed and put her on medication.
And about a month afterward, she sat in a large community song service and listened to 200 voices gaily singing “Some glad morning, when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away… Just a few more weary days and then I’ll fly away…” She turned to her husband and laughed.
“See?” she said. “We all sing it. We all are okay with this philosophy; it’s woven into many of our songs. I took it seriously, believed it to be more than just words, and they put me on medication.”
Long story short, I am a recovering Gnostic. A repenting Gnostic. An oh-Jesus-how-can-I-thank-you-for-the-chance-to-live-again! Gnostic.
That is why my husband, to this day, raises his hackles when he hears phrases like “Death is a reward to the Christian” or “It’s all gonna burn anyway…”
He knows what happens when someone takes it too seriously—despair and ultimate futility.
Today I share story. Tomorrow I share theory.